Over 1,200 injured, 29 dead after Turkey earthquake

Over 1,200 injured, 29 dead after Turkey earthquake
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Officials confirmed that the death toll from an earthquake that rocked Turkey reached 29 people, with more than 1000 injured, according to the Associated Press. 

Rescue workers searched for people stranded under rubble from collapsed buildings in the Elazig province and the neighboring Malatya in the eastern part of the country, Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca confirmed.

1,243 were injured, according to the AP.


The earthquake hit at 8:55 p.m. Friday local time. Earthquake monitoring centers said the disaster ranged from a 6.5 to 6.8 magnitude. It was followed by nearly 400 aftershocks, with some reaching magnitudes of up to 5.4, the news agency reported. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted overnight that all security measures were taken to "ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many provinces is overcome with the least amount of loss,” translated from Turkish by CBS News.

Erdogan also tweeted “I wish god's mercy to our brothers who lost their lives in the earthquake, and urgent healings for those who were injured,” translated by Twitter. 

Although Greek officials offered to send assistance to Turkey in the aftermath of the earthquake, Erdogan told reporters Saturday that “our state does not need anything, the AP reported.

He also visited the hardest-hit areas Saturday and attended the funeral of a mother and son killed in the earthquake.  

Forty-two people had been rescued from the rubble, including one woman who officials found 19 hours after the earthquake’s central tremor, according to the AP. Emergency workers distributed tents, beds and blankets around the region, with overnight temperatures dropping below freezing.

More than 20 are feared to still be trapped, officials confirmed to the BBC.

Mosques, schools, sports halls and dormitories were also opened for hundreds forced to leave their homes. Communications companies provided free telephone and internet services for the region after the disaster.